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Journalists shot at Haiti protests: reports

February 9, 2021

Opposition leaders have appointed a transitional president to replace current president Jovenel Moise. The announcement came a day after Moise alleged an attempted coup to displace him.

A demonstrator tries to grab the rifle of a police officer during protests against Haiti's President Jovenel Moise, in Port-au-Prince
The journalists were shot while covering anti-government protestsImage: Jeanty Junior Augustin/REUTERS

Two journalists were shot while covering protests against the regime of president Jovenel Moise in Haiti on Monday, according to local media. 

The journalists were shot while broadcasting the protests, Rezo Nodwes, a Haiti-based publication reported. It is not clear how badly wounded they were.

Other local journalists confirmed the reports.

The protests against Moise followed an announcement on the same day by Haiti's opposition leaders that they had appointed a transitional president. The appointee, Joseph Mecene Jean-Louis, is the oldest judge in Haiti's supreme court.

"I declare that I accept the choice of the opposition and civil society to serve my country as interim president of the broken transition," said Jean-Louis. "In the coming days, I will restore order in the country," he tweeted.

"We are waiting for Jovenel Moise to leave the National Palace so that we can get on with installing Mr Mecene Jean-Louis," opposition leader Andre Michel told news agency AFP.

Haiti's president Jovenel Moise alleged that there was an attack on his life
Haiti's president Jovenel Moise alleged that there was an attack on his lifeImage: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP Photo/picture alliance

The appointment comes a day after Moise announced that security officers had thwarted an attempt on his life. About 23 people, including a Supreme Court judge and a top police official, were arrested for what he described as an attempted coup.

Opposition leaders claim that Moise's term began in February 2016 and ended this Sunday. Meanwhile, Moise and his supporters claim 2017 as the year of his ascent. The president has said that he will hand over power to the winner of the elections in October 2021 and will not step down until his term expires in February 2022.

UN Secretary General expresses concern

On February 8, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations said that the UN was following the political crisis "with concern".

The Secretary General's spokesman told news agency AFP that Moise's term was scheduled to end in February 2022, without commenting on whether the UN supported Moise's claim to power. The US has supported Moise's claim to stay in power till next year.

am/aw (AFP, dpa)